Gilbert Melendez may no longer be a member of the UFC roster but he’s still been hit with a USADA sanction.
USADA announced that an “independent arbitrator” has ruled that Melendez should serve a two-year suspension for a violation of the anti-doping policy. Melendez argued that USADA didn’t have the right to conduct the test but it has been determined that the agency was in its right to do so. Melendez’s suspension is retroactive to Nov. 1, 2019. He will be eligible to compete again on Nov. 1, 2021.
USADA Issues Statement On Gilbert Melendez’s Sanction
Here is part of USADA’s statement on Gilbert Melendez’s two-year suspension.
“Melendez, 38, tested positive for GHRP-6 and its metabolites GHRP-6(2-5)-OH and GHRP-6(2-6)-OH as the result of a urine sample collected out-of-competition on October 16, 2019. GHRP-6 is a non-Specified Substance in the class of Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors, Related Substances, and Mimetics, and is prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy and UFC Prohibited List.
“While Melendez did not contest the presence of GHRP-6 and its metabolites in his sample nor identify a source of the prohibited peptide, he did challenge USADA’s jurisdiction to conduct the test. The arbitrator concluded that USADA did have jurisdiction to both conduct the test and allege an anti-doping policy violation in the event of a positive sample, as was the case.”
As mentioned in the statement, Melendez was flagged in Oct. 2019. He was released by the UFC one month later but “El Nino” says he was released before the test was taken. Melendez had been contemplating whether or not he’ll fight again. Time will tell how this USADA ruling impacts his decision.
Melendez is undoubtedly an exciting and accomplished fighter, but his UFC run was less than stellar. “El Nino” went from being a two-time Strikeforce lightweight champion to going 1-6 under the UFC banner. We’ll keep you posted on what Melendez decides to do going forward once that information becomes available.